The land cruiser and van will, on occasion, transport volunteers over wet, winding, paved roads. Participants must wear seat belts whenever they are available and may not drive project vehicles.
The terrain is very hilly, and some trails are quite steep. Some trails can get very slippery, and the mud trails are sometimes difficult to navigate due to water and deep mud. Walking slowly and carefully can prevent injury. Bring appropriate footwear and remember that the hiking can be as strenuous or easy as you feel is appropriate. Please bring a minimum of one to two liters (approx. 33 to 100 ounces) of drinking water on the transects. Walk slowly, and rest frequently if overheated. You must always wear field boots and field clothes.
There are venomous snakes, some irritating plants, and plenty of biting and stinging insects. Snakebites are not common, but the use of tall rubber boots (not required) in the field and flashlights at night are good precautions. Strong insect repellent can be used to ward off mosquitoes, chiggers, ticks, biting flies, and other insects. Most of the plants are harmless to people, but there are some plants that are poisonous and can cause rashes or have sharp spines or thorns. These will be pointed out to the volunteers.
Biting and/or stinging bees, wasps, bullet ants, scorpions, and spiders are all present in the research area. Team members will occasionally be bitten or stung, but these injuries are usually not very severe. If anyone develops an allergic reaction, he/she will be taken to the nearest clinic.
Diseases found in this region include hepatitis, typhoid, malaria, and rabies. You can decrease your risk of most diseases above by avoiding mosquito bites, wearing protective clothing and shoes, practicing good hygiene, and drinking only bottled or filtered water when appropriate. Whether you have been vaccinated or not, it is always important to avoid stray dogs. The pre-exposure vaccination for rabies does not eliminate the need for post-exposure medical attention and treatment, but it does provide additional protection against the disease in the event of a delay in treatment. In addition, bites or scratches should be immediately and thoroughly washed with soap and clean water. If you feel ill once you return from your trip, make sure you inform your doctor that you have recently returned from a tropical region
Please see the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cdc.gov) or the World Health Organization (who.int) websites for more information on these conditions and how to avoid them
At the time this briefing was printed, The CDC recommends a Yellow Fever vaccination for this particular area of Brazil. The project site is northeast of Rio De Janeiro and is in an area where Yellow Fever is Endemic. Please refer to the CDC website for vaccination suggestions: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/brazil, and consult your physician for specific recommendations.
It will be hot and humid. You will need to protect yourself from the sun with appropriate clothing and sunscreen (at least 30 to 60 SPF) and drink plenty of water throughout the day to avoid dehydration. It can rain at any time of the year, so please bring light rain gear suitable for tropical climates. Those using hearing aid devices may find they don’t work properly.
Always stay with a group when on the expedition. Please leave valuables at home where possible, or properly secured while at the field station or research sites.
REGUA does have lockers that you can store valuables in, though you will need to bring your own lock (with keys or combination) to secure your items.
Distance from Medical Care
This project site is 40 minutes away from the nearest fully equipped hospital. If you are pregnant or have other conditions that could require emergency medical care, you should discuss with your physician before joining this project.